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GIANTS 31 – CAROLINA 18: HITS, MISSES, & MUSINGS

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GIANTS 31 – CAROLINA 18: HITS, MISSES, & MUSINGS

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:52 pm

from insidefootball.com


HITS
Kenny Philips. Phillips came up with a huge first quarter play to save a touchdown when he tripped up RB DeAngelo Williams, who took the handoff on a draw and had nothing but daylight I front of him were it not for Phillips’ heads up play.

Deon Grant.
His starting streak might be over but he wasn’t kidding when he said he was still at the top of his game. Grant came up with a nice interception in the end zone to snuff out a potential Carolina touchdown. However, the Giants offense was unable to capitalize on the turnover, going three and out on their ensuing possession.

Mario Manningham: Finishing with four catches for 85 yards, Manningham was Mr. clutch as he caught a 31-yard first quarter ball from Manning on third down to extend a scoring drive that ultimately resulted in a Giants touchdown for the 7-3 lead. He also had a second quarter third-down conversion for a 21-yard gain, though that drive ended on an interception. This was probably one of Manningham’s better games in recent memories.

Hakeem Nicks: Although he finished third on the team with four catches for 75 yards, Nicks accounted for 181 of the Giants’ 31 points three touchdowns, showing good form and technique in shielding the ball from the defender.

The Defense. They started out slow, but once they got it going, they left us wanting more. They harassed Matt Moore like crazy, and the defensive secondary was a sight to behold as it literally took away the threat of Steve Smith. Kudos to this group who after last year’s horrible showing, rebounded to stir up memories of some of the better Giants defenses of the past.

MISSES
Matt Dodge: Let’s see, a 16.0 net average and one blocked kick… not a good way to start your official NFL career. Dodge’s misadventures didn’t hurt his team this week – and we don’t’ count the safety that the Panthers got when a punt was blocked and rolled out of the end zone. However, we fear it’s just a matter of time before his inconsistency does come back to hurt his team.

The Kickoff Coverage Teams: this is becoming more than ridiculous. Mike Goodson had five returns for 117 yards, and a long of 45. All together, the Panthers recorded seven returns for 172 yards. While no one scored, the fact that the Panthers repeatedly had a short field to work with just isn’t acceptable, no matter how well the defense played.

The Coaches: I don’t so much blame Travis Beckum for his inability to block as I do the coaches for taking the gamble they did at tight end. When Kevin Boss left the game with a concussion after the fifth play from scrimmage, the Giants running game was doomed as asking Beckum to block is just not the way to go. Moreover, the decision to use William Beatty as the blocking tight end didn’t fair any better for the running game, which in the first half alone had 13 carries for eight yards, rebounding after running six times for minus three yards in the first quarter.

MUSINGS
One of the things that struck me about the Giants special teams is a lack of emotion. It almost seemed that save for a couple of guys, the majority of the player staffing special teams were lifeless and almost methodical in their approach to the game. That to me is alarming because if you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not going to be flying around. Moreover, if you’re not flying around, you’re not making plays.

These players who seem to be turning in a lackluster effort in hopes of being removed from special teams should take note of their unit captain, Chase Blackburn, who makes his living on specials. Seriously, just because a guy was a hot shot in college doesn’t mean that he’s going to continue residing on is throne when he gets to the pros. If these players assigned to specials don’t wake up soon, this is going to be a long season for the Giants.

QUOTEBOOK
“I think last year we kind of got in a funk. And with the injuries we had, it was hard, hard to get the ball rolling in the right direction. But last year was last year, and we’ll leave it be. But this year, we started off right.” – DE Justin Tuck on the differences between this year’s Giants team and the one that faced Carolina last year.

“Oh it’s back. It’s been back. The linebackers have it, the DB’s have always had it and the offense definitely bring their own brand of swagger but as long as we show up and give a great performance, we’ll have it every week.” – DE Mathias Kiwanuka on if the swagger is back on the defense.

“I saw a huge difference. As I said, they’ve kind of pointed towards how badly we all felt by the way they worked in the offseason and the way we came through the summer sessions, et cetera, so there wasn’t any question about people focused and coming to play and staying with it even when things didn’t necessarily go our way.” – Head coach Tom Coughlin on how big of a difference he saw in this year’s team vs. last year’s.

THE TURNING POINT

We’ll go with the first quarter interception of a Matt Moore pass by Deon Grant with 9:50 left. If Grant doesn’t make that pick, chances are the Panthers jump out to a 7-0 lead, and with how the offense was struggling in the first half, by only yielding three points, the giants were able to keep things close.

INJURIES
TE Kevin Boss was hit hard by S Sherrod Martin on the fifth play of the game and had to leave the field on a cart. The official word on Boss’ injury was he was going to have his neck evaluated; however, he looked a little woozy when getting onto the cart. Boss’ departure meant the giants went to William Beatty a lot as the blocking tight end.

Speaking of Beatty, he was seen after the game with his right foot in a walking boot. Head coach Tom Coughlin did not mention Beatty’s injury, so well have to wait until Monday for more information.

LB Chase Blackburn sprained his knee covering a kickoff. Blackburn said he’d be fine but again, there was no official update on his status available after the game.

INACTIVES
Giants: Not dressing for the Giants were CB Aaron Ross, LB Phillip Dillard, LB Gerris Wilkinson, OL Mitch Petrus, DE Dave Tollefson, WR Victor Cruz, WR Duke Calhoun, LB Gerris Wilkinson; and DT Linval Joseph. The deactivation of Linval Joseph as a bit of a surprise considering the anticipated Panthers rushing attack.

Carolina: G Tim Duckworth; WR Armanti Edwards; WR David Gettis; DT Nick Hayden; DT Andre Neblett; QB Tony Pike (3rd QB); LB Jordan Senn; RB Tyrell Sutton

THE FINAL WORD
I had an opportunity to walk around the New Meadowlands Stadium with my husband, father and brother, and I have to take my hat off to the Guest Services folks. No matter what question we had, someone had an answer – and the right answer. Having been to several stadiums in my life, that’s not always easy to find, but here, the staff ha been equipped with maps and detailed information to help folks find their way around. Clearly just another one of the little details that some facilities take for granted.

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Re: GIANTS 31 – CAROLINA 18: HITS, MISSES, & MUSINGS

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:54 pm

Interesting points about the special teams units.

I think a lot of the poor attitude/lack of passion has to come back to Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn.
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Re: GIANTS 31 – CAROLINA 18: HITS, MISSES, & MUSINGS

Post  Pizan on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:06 pm

Well I hate to harp on our LBer unit but thats where your key special team players come from besides the gunner positions. We get better players at that position we will be ok.
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Re: GIANTS 31 – CAROLINA 18: HITS, MISSES, & MUSINGS

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:52 pm

Pizan wrote:Well I hate to harp on our LBer unit but thats where your key special team players come from besides the gunner positions. We get better players at that position we will be ok.

I don't entirely agree regarding special teams (but do agree about upgrading our LBs)

Look at the guys available for special teams.

Cruz, Calhoun, Ware, Hedgecock, Beckum, Pascoe/Kehl, Pierre-Paul, Tollefsen, Blackburn, Sintim, Wilkinson, Dillard, B Johnson, DJ Johnson, M Johnson and DeOssie.

That is enough talent for a solid, of not very good special teams coverage units.

I think it comes down to attitude and coaching on special teams.

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